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20 Jul 2015

New measures introduced to tackle gender pay gap

Companies with more than 250 employees will soon have to publish details of the average salaries of male and female workers, as part of David Cameron´s efforts to abolish the gender pay gap, BBC News reports.

Consultations on the proposals are now under way, and so far the move has been welcomed - although Labour argue that it should have come sooner. The consultation will assess how new gender pay gap regulations could be formed, and when to publish the information.

Towards the end of last year, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the UK gender pay gap was at it narrowest since 1997, when records of the discrepancy first began. In April 2014 the gap was at 10%, but by April this year it had dropped only to 9.4%.

During the coalition government, the Liberal Democrats helped drive forward the policy of publishing pay details, despite opposition from the Tories. However, compulsory equal pay formed a part of the Conservative manifesto for this year´s general election, and Cameron has pledged to get rid of the gap “within a generation.”

“Paying men and women different amounts for doing the same job isn´t entirely solved, but it´s nearly solved,” he recently told business leaders in London. “The difference between pay for men and women doing different jobs is much more difficult to tackle, but we can do it with help from business.”

Nicky Morgan, minister for Women and Equalities, suggests that the gender pay gap has been “virtually eliminated” for full-time female workers under the age of 40; while her Labour equivalent, Gloria de Piero, argued that there should be an annual equal pay check if we are to see a “real difference” in gender-related pay.

Speaking on behalf of the Federation of Small Businesses, chairman John Allen said that this momentum would now need to be sustained in order to “break down the remaining barriers that prevent women progressing in the workplace and the boardroom.”

Copyright M2 Bespoke 2015

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